Note N401 Index
In the 1880 American Census, she is shown as a widow. John, 22 and William, 17 are living with her. She is shown as a housekeeper. John works in a sewing machine factory and William is a clerk in a trunk store.
Here is the census extract:
Census Place: Newark, Essex, New Jersey
Source: FHL Film 1254779 National Archives Film T9-0779 Page 271C
Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace
Jane KENNEDY Self F W W 57 IRE
John KENNEDY Son M S W 22 NJ
William KENNEDY Son M S W 17 NJ
I also found her in a 1874 Newark City directory when she was also listed as a widow living at 158 James Street. Neither John nor William were at the same address but there is a John Kennedy listed as a machinist and a William Kennedy listed as a florist. Jane continues at that address up to 1891. John M, machinist was at 162 James Street. Most importantly, William Jr. was also at 158 James. He was listed a DSM - does that not mean Distinguished Service Medal?. Nevin was a 173 Hillside. I believe that I found her and William in the 1895 New Jersey State Census. They were living together alone in Newark in what seems to be the second district of the 7th ward.
In February 1874, Jane, in her capacity of administratrix of the estate of William, debtor, applied to have persons appointed to value the estate of William. Who knows what they determined.
Note N402 Index
I have changed the spelling of his name from Skei to Skjei as that is the spelling adopted by him in North America. Einar came to North America in 1896 when he was still single. He was shown as 19 years and 5 months old. He went back to Norway sometime before he married Martine, and then came back again so that he was there for the 1990 US census. He must have gone back again because he and Martine and the two boys were on a ship arriving in 1908.
His is how the family appears in the 1900 US census Eidsvold Township, Bottineau County, North Dakota:
Skjei, Einor, (sic) Head, b. Nov. 1876, 23, married 3 years, Norway, Norway, Norway, Emigrated 1896, No. years in U.S. 4, PA*, Farmer, own home, free and clear, farm -----, Martine, Wife b. Oct. 1879, 20, married 3 years, 1 birth, 1 child living, Norway, Norway, Norway, Emigrated 1898, No. years in U.S., 2, PA -----, Harold, Son, b. 1889, 1, ND, Norway, Norway
He went back at least once more before coming back again in 1908. I have found him on a ship - the Sterion - leaving from New York in July 1904, bound for Liverpool, and presumalby after that for Norway. If he was not going back becasue of his father's death, why?
His obituary from the ? reads: ( I now know that Carberry should be spelled Carbury.)
On January 23, death deprived Hallonquist of one of its most prominent settlers, Einar Skjei. Mr. Skjei came here in 1912 and lived through many hardships, when eight years ago he had the sad bereavement of losing his wife. He had been an industrious and outstanding figure in his community and was well liked by his fellow men. He leaves to mourn four children: Ludwig, Hazel, Viola and Mildred.
The burial services were conducted on January 31 by Rev. Marken, the Norwegian Lutheran minister of Swift Current. The pallbearers were Messrs. John and Gust Holden, Knut Torgerson and Knut Olson, Engebricht Gordon, and Tom Grinder. There was also present a brother and nephew from Carberry, North Dakota.
Mr. Skjei show be greatly missed and the community extends its deepest sympathy to the bereaved.
Einar became a naturalised Canadian on September 26, 1916. His certificate was granted in the District Court at Swift Current, Saskatchewan. The certificate was no. 3799178.
Here is an article written by two of Einar's daughters, Hazel and Viola, in 1983. There are a few small errors but that is understandable given when it was written, and given that both Einar and Martine had died early in the lives of their children.
THE EINAR SKJEI FAMILY by Hazel Murphy and Viola Flanagan:
Einar Skjei and Martine Frøseth were born in Stanjaer, Norway, and moved to the United States after they were married in 1897. Originally Einar had immigrated to Bottineau, North Dakota. He then returned to Norway and met Martine. In three months they were married and on their way to the Turtle Mountain area in North Dakota. Einar was about 20 years of age and Martine 17 at the time. What brave people our parents were
We assume they were influenced to come to Canada by the offer of free homestead land after Saskatchewan became a province in 1905. In any event, in 1910 Einar and Martine came to their homestead on NW-IO-14-10-W3 in what was to become the Hallonquist area. They were 33 and 30 years of age respectively. They brought with them their two sons, Harold, age 11, and Ludvig, age nine. In 1914 Harold died of diabetes. Needless to say, their lives were marred early by this bereavement.
The closest railway was at Herbert. We think they brought their own horses, cows, and equipment with them. Their first home was a small one-room structure which they built themselves.
They started farming and must have encountered many difficulties, among them the prairie fires that swept across the land, destroying everything in their path. Then there was drought, thunderstorms and hail in the summer and severe cold and snow in the winter time. Sometimes hail would break the windows in their house and flatten their garden and crop completely. On the brighter side, crops were bounteous some years. More land was brought under cultivation. Better homes and buildings were built and the farmers prospered.
The first home built on the homestead was later moved and became the 'bunkhouse'. Another part of it eventually housed the chickens The house that presently stands on the homestead was built in three parts, the middle part before 1920, the next addition in 1926-7 and the last part was added in 1929.
When the original little house was still being used it was always 'banked up' in the fall so that the floors would keep warm in the winter. One time we remember one of the older ladies saying how she hated this yearly ritual because the house being 'banked up' allowed the coyotes to walk up and look in the windows I don't recall that ever happening at our house.
Three more children were born to Einar and Martine in the years that followed. Hazel was born in 1916, Viola in 1919, and Mildred in 1922. Martine died nine days after the birth of Mildred. Einar continued farming until 1930 when he also passed away.
This period of time after Martine died must have been very difficult time for Einar. One of Martine's friends, Christine Gordon, cared for Millie, who was just a newborn baby, for over a year. For the most part Hazel and Viola stayed with their father and brother. They rode out to the fields on the workhorses, and when Einar ploughed, cultivated or seeded, they amused themselves wandering over large areas of the land. They found bird nests, flowers and strawberries, and really did very well on their own.
Things became better for everyone when Aunt Emma, Martine's sister, came to live with us. Aunt Emma brought her son, Olav, and her daughter, Eldred, with her and they became part of our family. Although things were not as hard in the 1920's it was still not that great.
Homes were lit by kerosene wick lamps and later by gas lamps. Wood and coal were used for cooking and to heat the house. All our drinking water was carried in from a well. Wash water was pumped from a cistern in the basement. This cistern was filled by catching rain water off the roof of the house. Many cows had to be milked twice daily. Some cream was sold and some was churned into butter for the table and for cooking and baking. All bread, cakes and cookies were baked at home. Animals were butchered by the men, usually in the winter and then processed. Some was kept frozen for immediate use. Some was preserved in jars for summer. Sausages were made and smoked. Hams were processed and cured in large stone crocks in the basement.
All our clothes were scrubbed by hand on an old washboard with homemade lye soap. White clothes were kept white by boiling in a wash boiler with lye soap. The lye soap was made with fat rendered from the animals that were butchered for meat. That was a great procedure
We as children also enjoyed it when doughnuts were fried in the great big black pot full of fat. I think all adults were full of fear that the fat might catch fire when this procedure was carried out, so they didn't enjoy it like we did
Before Hallonquist was born on the CPR line in 1923, all grain and produce had to be transported to Herbert, 25 miles away. Groceries and other supplies had to be conveyed back. It was a great event when the caravan of wagons, each drawn by four horses, set out loaded with wheat and other grain and produce. The wheat and other grain was brought to the mill for gristing into flour and to make cereal. Some of it was sold.
Coal and wood for cooking and heating were brought back, other supplies included bags of sugar, and tins of coffee beans which we ground in our coffee mill at home. Sometimes new clothes for winter came back, and often apples, candies, and store-bought bread became our special treats.
Depending on how good the crop had been, the men hauled grain with grain boxes on horse-drawn sleighs all winter. As the weather was not very dependable during that season, commodities were 354 brought back in very large quantities. These trips took a few days, and although we didn't go along on them they were always big events in our lives
One of the problems the homesteaders had to contend with was the language barrier. For example, in about 1915 or so the Rural Municipality of Coulee had accumulated enough money to buy a slip scraper for each division. Mr. Frank Thomson Sr. was councillor for Division Four and Mr. Jim Parker was councillor for Division One. Max Siegel was in Herbert with his team of oxen when this equipment arrived so he brought the scrapers for Division One and Four home with him. Mr. Parker then arranged with Einar to go to Siegel's place and get one of the scrapers, do some roadwork near his own place and deliver the scraper to somebody else. When Einar arrived at Seigel's place Max was not at home, and his wife did not want to let Einar take the scraper, think-ing they were both for Mr. Thomson. She spoke about five percent English and 95 percent Ger-man. Einar spoke about ten percent English and 90 percent Norwegian. He tried to explain that 'Pushkerr' had told him to 'git the skrippert' but it didn't register. She tried to tell him to 'Leaf Lose Das schlepp ist fur Dumpsin " They were both busy and impatient. As excitement increased their command of the little English they knew decreased. Each time Einar tried to hitch up his oxen, she would get hold of the handles and pull the scraper back. At last she ran into the house and came out brandishing a hammer, and scream-ing something in German that Einar didn't understand.
Meanwhile he had managed to get his grabhook into the ring on the scraper. The oxen started off at a run with the scraper bumping from stone to stone and Einar running after, and Mrs. Seigel standing in front of the door still yelling That evening, as Einar was coming out of the stable with two pails of milk, he met Max who was very angry. "Vass ist lose? You bodder my frau to-day You do some more, and I schutt you " Einar decided he'd better keep cool. This man could be tough. He said, "Nay. You have front side back. Ven ay go and get skrippert like 'Pushkerr' tole me, she bodder me, so I have hard time to get him. And she swear terrible " Max snapped back, "You lie more dumb as mine frau. If you not understan' her, how you know she is swearing?" "My oxes understan' and dey run home fast " Einar replied. Suddenly this very angry man was bent over, holding his stomach and laughing. They lived together as friends for a long time after that, neither of them ever becoming really fluent in English
Doctor Funk of Herbert was one of the early doctors and on occasion had to travel long distances to see his patients. Medical aid was very limited even in the early thirties. Besides Dr. Funk there were a few more practicing physicians in Swift Current. In the winter transportation to and from these centers was very difficult. Our mother's death would likely not have happened if better medical care had been available. Our father's death may have been prevented, as well, if he had gone to see a doctor before he became seriously ill.
Our father did believe in prevention of illness. Even way back then, when vaccination was pro-bably not that common, he had us inoculated for diphtheria. Three youngsters in our age group, all children of friends in the community, died with diphtheria while under the age of five, but no one in our house took sick.
The main form of entertainment in the early days was visiting with neighbors. Holdens were a mile west of the farm home and all were great whist players. At Christmas time neighbors would gather at a farm home and have big meals, in-cluding lefsa, flatbread, romme grot and other Norwegian specialties.
The Lutheran ministers from Swift Current-Pastor O. J. Marken being one of them-conducted church services in the rural Neidpath School. In the winter the minister would come to Hallonquist by train, and then he would stay over until the train went back to Swift Current.
In the summer time people would have 'Ladies Aid' on Sundays, and the whole community would gather. In the summertime we had a Ford-about 1920 was the first one-which certainly speeded up our trips to Herbert. Of course, in the winter horses and sleigh were the only means of getting around. Even before Viola was born our father had a touring Ford car, and sometimes we drove to Herbert in it. This should have been a great treat for all of us but for some reason Viola was always very frightened by it
Hazel, Viola and Millie went four miles to Ettrick Bank School, and even during the depression years a teacher was always there. We don't know when Ettrick Bank began its operation but we do know that our brother, Lui, missed a lot of his education. Not that Viola was ever aware that he had He was always an avid reader and had probably read more than many of us ever do. He was always good at mathematics, too. When Viola was doing algebra homework in high school he used to give her the answers before she had them calculated She found out when she was older that most of his education had been obtained when he attended Outlook College when he was in his late teens. We were lucky because many of the early settlers' children missed out on education.
Mrs. Bayston was one of the first teachers in the area and taught for many years. We girls drove to school every day in a cart drawn by a small black horse called Fanny. Fanny refused to go anywhere except school She used to play tricks on us when we weren't watching by running the cartwheel over large rocks, and even broke the wheel that way once Although she usually hated to run, she got us home in the winter in half the time it took her in the summertime
Ettrick Bank was unique in that it closed for two months after the Christmas concert and then stayed open all summer. The first of the year was also the beginning of a new grade, so our grades started in February and finished in December. This had to be altered eventually when the pupils had to write Grade VIII final exams in June.
Sitting in a thermostatically controlled, gas-furnace-heated house, it's hard to remember what a farm house was like when we were children. You awoke in a room so cold that a glass of water would be frozen solid. If you were the one who had to light the fire you had the pleasure of trying to get it started with a minimum of paper and kindling. In an hour the fire was supposed to be hot enough to boil coffee and to take the chill out of the kitchen. How Viola would have loved to have had some of the loads of newspapers which she now contributes to the paper drive every month
Lui and his wife, Eldred, left the farm at Hallonquist in 1943 and settled in Eatonia, where they raised their five sons and three daughters. Lui was always engaged in farming until his death in 1963. His wife lives in Calgary as do some of their eight children-Anne, Douglas (deceased), Elaine, Dennis (deceased), Sandra, the twins, Glen and Gary and Paul. There are numerous grand-children and even one great grandchild, which would be a great great grandchild of Einar and Martine. There are four children bearing the Skjei name. They are the children of Glen and Marg Skjei, and Gary and Mary Skjei, who live in Eatonia.
Hazel married Ralph Murphy in 1935 and they lived in Swift Current. Since Ralph passed away in 1973 Hazel continued to live in Swift Current where she was employed at the Palliser Hospital until her retirement. They have four children, Donald, Brian, Michael and Brenda.
Viola took nurse's training in Medicine Hat, Alberta, where she met and married John Flanagan. They have five children, Kathleen, Jaqueline, Edward, Gregory and Larry. John passed away a few years ago and Viola now makes her home in Edmonton, Alberta.
Mildred became a hairdresser and after her marriage to John Laverty they lived in Ontario, lately in North Bay where John passed away in 1979. They had eight children, Edward, Patricia, Doreen (deceased), Robert, Richard, Brian, Gordon and Kenneth.
Unfortunately we do not know the occupations, interests or whereabouts of all the descendants of Einar and Martine. However, without too much effort we can list several occupations that have representation from the Skjei descendants. To name a few, there are two nurses, two hairdressers, one banker, one engineer, one air navigator, now in air company administration, two office managers, two college teachers, university students, an air mechanic, a trucker and housewives. The Skjei family are interested in many areas and are living in numerous locations across Canada.
There are two sons of Lui Skjei still interested in farming so their grandparents' interests are being perpetuated.
THE LUDVIG SKJEI STORY
When Einar and Martine Skjei left Norway they settled for a considerable time in Bottineau Country, North Dakota, before moving to their Saskatchewan homestead in 1910, bringing with them their two sons, Harold who passed away in 1914, and Ludvig who was a quiet pensive boy of nine. As time went on three girls joined the Skjei household, ending with Martine's death a few days after the birth of her youngest daughter, Mildred, in 1922.
For the first year a kindly neighbor looked after Baby Mildred while a hired housekeeper took charge of the rest. However, one such housekeeper whose name was Jenny Davis found three year old Viola a trifle uncooperative at times Momentarily resenting the discipline meted out to her, Viola once lamented between sobs to her older sister Hazel, "She-she-can't-talk-talk-Norwegian " Apparently Jenny who spoke only English had the situation well in hand, anyway, for Viola was marched to the sink, where she performed her ablutions just the same
Motivated to reading heavy literature and keeping abreast of the current world affairs, Lui, as he was called, more or less educated himself well beyond the academic standards of grade school. Almost full grown he further improved his knowledge by attending Outlook College for one entire term.
No longer had content to hire housekeepers, his father willingly accepted the help of his wife's sister, Mrs. Emma Haugen, when she came from Norway with her two children, Olav and Eldred, in 1924. From then on both families lived under the same roof. If Hazel was impudent, Einar insulted her dignity by pulling her ears. If they required discipline, Emma was likewise authorized to dole out justice It was a good working arrangement which lasted for several years.
In the interval, Emma's hands were full. Hazel visited her cousin; Lloyd Holden, who lived a mile west of her father's farm one summer day, and the two of them decided to 'run away' through a field of waving grain. It felt good on their bare feet, so why not? They managed to get thoroughly lost until Hazel remembered that 'drill rows' must lead somewhere. She reasoned that one row must lead to Lloyd's Uncle Gust's shanty so they followed the rows and, sure enough, found themselves on safe and familiar territory once more
Another time on one of their strolls, Hazel could not resist the urge to present Lloyd with a 'slip' of a beautiful plant she found by the-wayside. Imagine their chagrin when they discovered that neither of them had recognized the 'slip' as having come from a stinging nettle plant
When an open bin of wheat seemed temptingly cool, that was almost too much The wheat was swarming with mites and, needless to say, the bath which Viola took that afternoon was not the most leisurely one in the world
Lloyd had shared that experience with her, but he was not involved when both of Lui's sisters stole out of the house one shimmering moonlit night to meet a neighbor boy who was in on the prank, and furtively crept up the steep hill directly north of the Skjei residence. The dog barked furiously but no one came to disturb them as they raided Mrs. Seigel's strawberry patch, eating until they could eat no more Well satisfied with their escapade, they were home within the hour The culprits didn't breathe a word to a soul, -nor would Viola ever admit, to Emma, or anyone -why she'd suddenly broken out with a full-blown case of hives overnight
Lui by now was old enough to work side by side with his father in managing the farm routine. Einar had increased his acreage by buying the Fenn quarter straight south of his own land when that worthy gentleman decided to move on. Years later the Skjei children were to remember the sod house which Fenn had left behind and the big pasture that was never cultivated. Meanwhile Lui farmed the quarter NW-2-14-1O-W3 after Harold Gilbert, who'd filed his homestead there in 1912 left for other parts as well. This land Lui later passed on to his cousin, Olav Haugen.
When Lui and Eldred decided to get married in 1928 they lived at least a year on Mike Severud's homestead on SE-33-13-1O-W3. During this period the Ettrick Bank school teacher, Kay Whittington, boarded with them. The Wiwa View teacher, Gordon Bateman, used to visit her there. From a large family Kay had serious obligations elsewhere, and would regularly send portions of her meager salary to her parents in an attempt to relieve the financial stress at home. On February 4, 1928 Lui had filed his own homestead, and the young couple shortly moved into their cozy two-room home on SE-7-14-1O-W3.
With Lui busy on his homestead, and both Hazel and Viola going to high school in Swift Cur-rent, Einar was not only short-handed but desperately in need of help. Olav had purchased the school land on NW -11-14-10-W3, so when two young men with previous farm experience appeared in the neighborhood a short time later, a neighbor, Frank Thomson snapped up Ole Sunheim and Einar lost no time in hiring his friend, Ole Oldrin.
Two things happened that winter. Einar passed away and Ole developed an angry and painful inflammation on his scalp When no one understood the ailment, Alma Holden who was visiting her Aunt Emma at the time summoned Dr. Funk of Herbert by phone. When he'd been informed of the high fever and the scaly eruptions on Ole's flushed scalp he diagnosed it as erysipelas. Unable to make the trip out to the Skjei farm right then, he promised to send medication to Hallonquist on the very next train. Ole's head had been thoroughly shaved when the medicine arrived the following day, and treatment began at once. III for some time Ole recovered at last-with one startling physical difference-his formerly straight brown hair was now full of wavy curls
Following Einar's death Lui and Eldred returned to the original Skjei farm to look after matters of the estate. It was to be handled by a trust company with Lui in charge. The girls were to get their equal portion annually once the harvest had been completed. From then on the Skjei's had the use of the house, with coal provided, but all business transactions were regularly reported to the trust company who kept tab on everything. By then Olav had gone to work on the Holmes' farm a few miles outside of Swift Current and Ole's help was urgently required.
It was a black Sunday, when Olav, Ole, Hilmer, Melvin and Lloyd went swimming in the Ettrick Bank Creek. Ole saved Lloyd's life that day when he realized Lloyd was in trouble, and couldn't swim. He pulled the struggling youngster to shore. Later that same day Ole took the Skjei women-folk to church, then proceeded to use the free time he had left for his own amusement. During the afternoon one thing led to another, and after a bit of practice driving, sheer impulse prompted Ole Synheim to take Frank Thomson's unlicenced, cut-down Model T Ford to Neidpath, although he clearly understood it was meant solely for hauling gas to the field. Accompanying him on this unauthorized ride was Ole Oldrin, who shared in the subsequent tomfoolery before they set out for home. A rainstorm had made the road quite muddy, however, and when they reached a spot halfway between the Neipath well and the top of the hill to the west, the car stalled. Synheim did not gear down in time and the vehicle jackknifed in reverse, zigzagging down the hill and over the edge Synheim was thrown clear but Oldrin was not so fortunate. He'd been caught under the car when it tipped over and rolled back on its wheels again. His neck had been broken and he died shortly afterward. By some quirk he had saved a life that morning only to lose his own that afternoon. Thus Lui lost a good hired hand.
Across the way Gust Holden had turned his farm responsibilities over to his brother John while he serviced a large area with his purebred stallion, Emancipator. John had all he could manage, and since Melvin and Hilmer had left home and Lloyd was still in school, Gust had no alternative but to hire Mr. and Mrs. John Grunau when his neighbor, Mr. Seigel, no longer needed them.
They were living in Gust's shanty when Lui began meeting obstacles wherever he turned. That fall they moved into Lui's homestead shack and worked about five years on his farm. Their children attended Neidpath School north of them. When World War II broke out the family once again moved on with John finding employment in the Swift Current Union Hospital and later at the Swift Current Airport.
Another time, when Eldred was expecting her fourth child, it was very muddy, too. The time had come and she wished 'Auntie Holden' to be there for the birth of her baby. Lui started out in lots of time but the road was bad, and he slipped and slid so much that he wasted considerable time on the way. Having picked up 'Auntie Holden' he had almost reached home when his car found bottom in a puddle and wouldn't budge any further. By the time he had used his tractor to get the car out the baby had been successfully delivered by the hired girl, and everything was under control.
Lui was a man of unusual ability. Not given to displays of theatrical fervor he conveyed a sense of community spirit at all times. Along with Ole Stormyr and others he played an active role in organizing and later disbanding a Co-op outlet in Hallonquist which served the community for several years. He was one of the early Wheat Pool members as well. Einar had looked after the Bethania cemetery south of the Neidpath School, and had engaged Hazel as bookkeeper when he drove his '28 Ford around the country, accepting orders for headstones and setting them up. Lui inherited the position of recorder on the cemetery committee and had in his possession a detailed plan of the cemetery on a parchment sheet.
In 1935 Hazel married Ralph Murphy of Swift Current, Sask, and after living on the Skjei farm until 1938, they moved to the city where Ralph found employment. Olav married Jean Holmes and started out on the Holmes' farm. After years of devoted service to her own family, her sister's family and her grandchildren, Emma met and married Ellert Eliason of Beaubier, Sask. She spent the rest of her days in Beaubier.
In 1942 Lui had a bumper crop to take off with his 8' combine. Sam Brown's hay crop had been thoroughly destroyed by hail so he agreed to help Lui with his harvest. Throughout the season, however, little problems kept popping up until, finally, Sam reluctantly withdrew his help to at-tend to the second growth of hay at home.
The season was getting late. Winter was in the air. Frost was in the ground and snow lay sprinkled over Lui's crop. Lloyd Holden finally went to Skjei's and carefully straight-combined what he could of the crop by shearing the heads of wheat off above the snow while Sherman Berge hauled the wheat to town. Even so some of his crop remained in the field until the following spring.
The estate was divided in 1943. Lui's responsibility to his family was irrevocably finished, and in 1945 he moved Eldred and his own family to Eatonia, Sask. Annie, Doug (deceased), Sandra, Denis (deceased) and the twins, Gary and Glen, had been born in the Hallonquist area. In 1950 Paul was born in Eatonia.
Lui and Eldred lived on their farm at Eatonia until Lui's illness forced them to move to Eatonia where he ultimately died of cancer in 1963. Eldred has since retired to Calgary, Alberta and the twin boys are both married and run the farm today.
*From Hallonquist, A light in the window, 1983, pp353-358